Lincoln’s History

In 2017, the British Association for Victorian Studies annual conference will be held in the beautifully historic city of Lincoln, in the campus grounds of Bishop Grosseteste University.
The University is situated within walking distance of two of Lincoln’s most historic sites; Lincoln Castle and Lincoln Cathedral, as well as many other fascinating sites of historical significance.

Lincoln’s History
Lincoln’s history can be traced back as far as 300BC, and has been occupied by the Romans, Vikings, Saxons and Normans.
Lincoln Castle was built on the orders of William the Conquerer in 1068, and has been the site of several battles and historically significant events throughout Britain’s history.
During the Medieval period, in 1215 the Magna Carta was sent to Lincoln and read out at the sheriff’s court in Lincoln Castle, before being placed in the cathedral treasury for safe-keeping. It is one of only four surviving originals, and has been kept at Lincoln Castle ever since.
Lincoln Cathedral was commissioned by Bishop Remigius in 1072 and was consecrated in 1092, just before he passed away. Though ravaged by fire in 1124 and damaged by an earthquake in 1185, Lincoln Cathedral still stands today as an active place of worship and incredible heritage to visitors from all across the world.

Victorian Prison
In the 19th Century, Lincoln Castle’s gaol was a privately owned prison. Prisoners had to pay for their keep and merciless gaolers charged excessive fees for food and bedding. Prisoners were housed together in filthy, crumbling dungeons and buildings without any fresh water or sanitation.

The Victorian Prison was designed to isolate prisoners (known as the ‘separate system’), as they believed isolation from other prisoners encouraged them to reform through repentance and reflection.
Men, women and children as young as eight were held in the Victorian prison from 1848 to 1878 for a range of crimes; from stealing a waistcoat and Bible, to highway robbery and even murder. Seven murderers were hanged at the castle during this period and they are buried in Lucy Tower where their graves can still be seen today.


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